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Is the 7900GT really all that Crappy?

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July 31, 2006 12:11:17 AM

I'm working on my new system for college, and I had decided to go with the XFX 7900GT with the core clocked at 470MHz, but many of the reviews on newegg claim that it's unreliable, runs hot, and runs loud. Several people had to RMA because of the artifacting, tearing, system crashes, etc. How reliable are reviews from vendor websites on things like this? Is it safe to assume the "silent majority" all got cards that work fine, and only the ones that have something to complain about are the ones that review?
Some of the reviewers claim this is caused by the nVidia 7900 design, rather than the manufacturer, but nVidia wouldn't design a card that is just plain broken, would they?
I guess in all my rambling what I'm asking is, does buying a factory overclocked card result in more instability than getting a normally clocked card? I have the option of getting an MSI card at normal speed (450MHz) for the same price, but that doesn't seem logical when I can get one that's around 5% faster.

If anyone has any insight to offer, I'd appreciate a nudge in the right direction. Thanks

More about : 7900gt crappy

July 31, 2006 12:39:35 AM

I myself recently rebuilt my system with an EVGA 7900GT KO and it's been nothing but great. Initially I was really concerned as I'd heard the the same things about the cards, but as I've never had any problems with Nvidia's cards before I went with the 7900GT and it's never given me any problems. It seems just a small but noticable segment of people are having the problems.
The only advice I'd give is to make sure to go with a manufacturer that provides a lifetime warranty such as BFG or EVGA (even if though you won't keep it forever) and it doesn't really matter if you buy a factory overclocked card as you can always easily do it yourself.
Also EVGA claims to have fixed the issue in their newest cards.
July 31, 2006 12:41:51 AM

The problem does not lie within the Nv design, but the companies that push the spec to far and fail QA....

Not being my first recommendation: But that aside, still quite a nice GPU and I"m sure you'll be happy.
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July 31, 2006 12:42:21 AM

Looks like the first ones were, but at least eVGA (don't know about others) is stepping up to the plate, replacing all the cards that have shown artifacting, and is now producing a new series of 7900s under new product numbers. It was noted that the memory chips on the new eVGA cards are from a different vendor (maybe memory not up to snuff instead of the nVidia chip?). Just a guess, but maybe the "initial lot" issues are past?
July 31, 2006 12:47:23 AM

I'm glad I never read any of those reviews. I had a 7800GT and wanted SLI, but it ended up costing the same to get two 7900GTs and sell the 7800 then to buy another 7800GT. Since the 7800 was so good for me I never really thought twice about the 7900s. First of all the two 7900s are actually a little less noisy then the one 7800. while they do run hot it's not much of a problem. I did notice some artifacting early on but only when I really messed with the settings in SLI mode. Basically it's best to leave them at default as the games look and run great anyways. Awsome card in my opinion.
July 31, 2006 12:59:02 AM

I'd get the eVGA 7900GT KO, which is the one with the larger (and quieter) fan. The 7900GT CO is the older one with the small fan which spins hyper fast and makes a hell of a lot of noise. Also, it doesn't have cooling for all of the memory chips, which is probably why they keep failing.

EDIT: I just checked newegg, and the KO is out of stock; they only have the CO. Wait until the KO is back in stock.
July 31, 2006 1:09:36 AM

What about XFX and their Double Lifetime warranty? Thanks for all the comments folks! :D 
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2006 1:28:43 AM

Yes the problem is real and there are still bad batches of cards being sold despite claims it's now fixed. If buying eVGA, look for a fixed revision. But it is also the small minority, so chances of getting a bad card are not that great; just greater than with other non-7900 series cards. Just be aware of it if you plan to OC it to 7900GTX speeds like many people keep talking about. :roll: It also effects evga, BFg and XFX...not just one brand.

The biggest reason I see in talking about the issue is awareness as people tend to talk about how well the 7900GT overclocks, but fail to mention how many complaints are out there about ones that die a quick death when overclocking. BOTH are true, so to me both should be mentioned. I really hate the buy a 7900GT as they OC to 7900GTX level comments without any mention of the issues that are everywhere on the net to do with OC'ed 7900's. Then someone tries it and 2 weeks or just 4 hours later, poof the card is gone and they are in RMA status.

I'd read the [H] writeup if you have not already done so. Plus a whole bunch of places besides Newegg reviews to read about the issues. We could post another 20 links beyond these, but I'll juts give a few.

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTA2OSwy...

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1059136

http://www.evga.com/community/messageboard/topic.asp?TO...

http://www.evga.com/community/messageboard/topic.asp?TO...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=99...

Shoot, XFX forums were so full of complaints then poof the forums were shut down. Despite what they say about reasons for axing the forums, it still sounds fishy to many people. eVGA at least was up front in admitting the problem and even created a sticky in their forums with updated 7900 series info. Looking on their forums, people seem happy with a quick response, but some folks claim to be on a 4th card already. :?
July 31, 2006 1:56:13 AM

I just bought a BFG 7900 GT and installed it yesterday (replacing a Gigabyte 7600 GT that I gave to my girlfriend). I love it. Pretty good improvement over the 7600 GT, which recently replaced my 6800 ultra.

For around $275 a 7900 GT is an excellent deal, GREAT performance. Though I was kinda shying away from the way overclocked editions like XFX's XXX edition and evga's Superclocked KO's... I would rather overclock it myself testing the waters (BFG's OC is quite modest... time to turn up the heat)
July 31, 2006 2:00:55 AM

Hey Gold,
I bought 2 BFG 7800 GTX OC's to SLI and as it turns out, one of em was bad...system BSOD's, artifacting, pin-holing on gameplay, crashes, freezes, game lock ups and could not ctl alt del. ....you name it. After calling BFG tech supp about 5 or 8 times (this was a good thing because it established a paper trail of my dilemma since they record all trouble shooting calls) they agreed to RMA both cards at MY REQUEST because I did not want to run into another possible problem with sli issues...anyway, long story short, I always treated them with respect and even sent them a thank you email for their help and support....

Well, after they received my 2 cards I shipped them, one of the main guys called ME PERSONALLY to let me know they got them and then told me for my troubles, they were going RMA my 2 7800's for 2 BRAND SPANKING NEW 7900 GT OC's !!!!!! :D 

Now to the point of the 7900 thingy..... :roll: They also agreed to run BOTH cards in SLI in a compatible rig like mine ( I sent them my specs) running benchmark test, loop tests, and actual game tests like COD2, FEAR, to make sure both cards ran FLAWLESSLY....before we ended our conversation, the guy gave me his personnal office number and told me to call him if I EVER had any problems...NA DATS SERVICE BABY :D 

I have NOT had ANY problems with either of my BFG 7900 GT OC's and they can run ANY game with MAX eye candy that's SMOOOOTh as silk

Remember that for every 10 bad stories people post about NVIDIA, there are many GOOD ones we NEVER hear about. This is one of em
Hope this helps bro ....... cheers

RIG specs
Antec P180 PerformanceSeries Mid-Tower Case
SeaSonic S12 600 watt power supply
Asus A8N32 SLI mobo AMD N-Force 4 SLIX16 (bios 1103 V02.58)
RealTek 97 onboard digital 5.1 Surround
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo Core, 2 X 1mb L2 cache (AMD driver 1.3.1.0 w/MS hotfix)
2 gigs of Corsair TwinX3500LL Pro @ 437Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG Tech 7900 GT OC 256mb in SLI (nvidia driver 91.31)
Western Digital RAPTOR 74.3 gig 10-K rpm HDD for XP & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for gaming, movies, MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for document backup (unplugged)
Sony CD rom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Logitech Z-5500 digital 5.1 THX Surround 500watts
July 31, 2006 2:13:02 AM

Quote:
What about XFX and their Double Lifetime warranty? Thanks for all the comments folks! :D 


Double lifetime warranty? Does that mean that they warrant the first card and the ATI card that you replace it with| :?: :?: :?:


Quote:
I really hate the "buy a 7900GT as they OC to 7900GTX level" comments without any mention of the issues that are everywhere on the net to do with OC'ed 7900's.


Please remember the quotation marks next time; without them, it's so difficult to understand what you're saying. Thanks :lol: 

Also, we must remember that every run of cards will have a couple faulty ones that make it past quality control. What matters most is that the manufacturer manages to solve the problem (creating five more along the way :lol:  ) and replaces the cards that have failed.
July 31, 2006 3:15:05 AM

if you want to get an nvidia card, get it at stock speeds. Never buy overclocked versions because they often have problems. If you want to overclock a card do it yourself and make sure you have proper cooling. This is why people have so many problems is because these companies try to OC the cards with just enough cooling to keep the card at stable levels, but Still very hot!
July 31, 2006 3:42:36 AM

I can't speak for the 7900GT, but I do have 2x7800GTX's that are factory overclocked to 500mhz. RAM is also overclocked.

I've never had artifacting issues.

However, I have had my system crash due to overheating. But that's more a problem with my environment than anything. I live in the desert and swamp coolers suck balls. My house hovers around 82F in the day with the air on full blast.

I don't have issues in the winter.
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2006 4:05:16 AM

I always looked for the factory overclocked models myself as they were often priced the same. Bought a BFG 6800U OC and a eVGA 7800GT CO. Not sure what I'd do with the 7900's. Probably just stick to X1800XT or X1900XT. :twisted:
July 31, 2006 5:40:16 PM

Quote:
Double lifetime warranty? Does that mean that they warrant the first card and the ATI card that you replace it with| :?: :?: :?:

BFG warrants the card for both the first and second owners of the card.
July 31, 2006 6:16:30 PM

Just ordered a Gainward 7900GT 256mb thats clocked at 550mhz :/ 

There were a few reasons I chose this card :

1. Barely more expensive than the stock speed versions

2. Large margin for downlclocking for stability while still being faster than stock

3. Easy volt mod on the core (shade a resistor)

4. non-reference board design and non-standard RAM, which I'm hoping will avoid the issues that people have been suggesting :/ 

It whould be with me in 16-24 hours, I'll let you know how it goes....
July 31, 2006 6:27:32 PM

Quote:
Just ordered a Gainward 7900GT 256mb thats clocked at 550mhz

HOLY GOD 8O
That seems excessively high for a factory clock. I hope in runs properly for your sake. If it does it should scream.

-mcg
July 31, 2006 6:33:27 PM

I figure that if a stock G71 core does 450mhz at 1.2v and 650mhz at 1.4v (and alot of cooling) then one that does 550mhz at 1.2v (even if in practice its only stable at 500mhz) should offer good overclocking margin at 1.5v :) 

I know this is going to require additional cooling but I think I'm the only PC user left in the world who is happy for his system to sound like a jet engine :) 

Once I've tested it for stability I'll add one of the Zalman VF900 coolers, and there is a 100 CFM fan blowing over the gfx card area anyway.
July 31, 2006 7:01:38 PM

I've got an eVGA 7900GT KO, and it's great. Runs FEAR completely maxed at 1680 x 1050 (even softshadowing!!) with a pretty steady frame rate. Haven't tried Oblivion yet, but going to play some Condemned tonight.
August 1, 2006 1:30:43 AM

yes the 7900gt is glitchy, even nvidia said that, may i suggest an x1800xt, or x1800gto2, the former may be oc'ed to x1800xt speeds
August 1, 2006 2:16:51 AM

Quote:
yes the 7900gt is glitchy, even nvidia said that, may i suggest an x1800xt, or x1800gto2, the former may be oc'ed to x1800xt speeds


Forget OCing the gto2; just flash it to the XT BIOS
August 1, 2006 2:30:56 AM

x1800xt is a much better choice because of its dual cooler and its ability to do better in shader heavy games wich is th eonly thing that matters anyways, also the aa and hdr thing
August 1, 2006 4:43:41 AM

Thanks for all the advice! I ended up going with an evga KO (I found one on Tiger) and I'll always have the option of clocking it down if I run into trouble. I can grab another one when prices go down some more for SLI purposes. Getting a card with non reference memory and design sounds like a good idea, darkstar. I have my Gainward GeForce 4 Ti 4200 and it still runs great... you know, for a GeForce 4 :p  :lol: 

Thanks again! :D 
August 1, 2006 10:46:19 AM

Make sure you get the reloaded version....But the jury is still out on whether or not they have fixed things, since they just started shipping. Check the EVGA site. Also check the forums to see what you're getting into with a 7900GT. You know there are tales of people RMAing 6 different cards. EVGA sounds like they're going out of their way to help people - but you've gotta wonder how many bad cards they can eat before they go bankrupt!

I am waffling between getting EVGA's "fixed" 7900s cards and an 1800xt. I am also ticked I can't figure out what difference is between the "KO" and "CO" 7900GTs, which are both overclocked 50mhz. Maybe the 1900XT will have dropped in price by the time Conroe retail chips are shipping. Ha!
August 1, 2006 11:09:20 AM

Quote:
may i suggest an x1800xt, or x1800gto2, the former may be oc'ed to x1800xt speeds


Uh...the former is an X1800XT...you wouldn't really have to do any overclocking to make it reach its own speed...I think you meant the latter.

And good job on the eVGA. I love it. My friend also bought one, same model as mine, but he had problems and RMA'd it for an XFX that should be here pretty soon. He had lockups in games like FEAR, Condemned, and The Godfather, but oddly enough Oblivion played fine.

Really, the best part about the eVGA is their warranty and the KO's quieter cooler.
August 1, 2006 12:13:36 PM

Quote:
I am waffling between getting EVGA's "fixed" 7900s cards and an 1800xt. I am also ticked I can't figure out what difference is between the "KO" and "CO" 7900GTs, which are both overclocked 50mhz./quote]

The 7900GT CO is the one with the small fan and heatsinks on only some of the memory modules. The 7900GT KO is the one with the big fan and cooling for all of the memory. The KO is the one to get because of the better cooling. Both the CO and the KO are overclocked to 500/1500MHz core/memory. The core is 50MHz over stock, and the memory is 180MHz.

My guess is that the CO has problems because that's a pretty extreme overclock on the memory, especially when some modules don't even have cooling.

About the X1800GTO2: It is a 512MB X1800XT, but using the BIOS of the X1800XL. The GTO BIOS is for a 12-pipeline card, but this one comes stock with 16 pipes. If you flash the BIOS to XT, you'll have an X1800XT.
August 1, 2006 12:43:10 PM

From what I understand, BFG and XFX are one in the same....they have the same 'Mothercompany' making the boards, chips and all are basically identical, but XFX gets a bit more daring by upping the Ante on OC, and I think their bundles are a little nicer too.
BFG just seems more available in the Avg. Joe retail store.
XFX is hiding out..........
great availability online though.
August 1, 2006 12:50:34 PM

Kindness and patience....persistence.
Done in the right manner can surely pay off, huh?
Congrats.
August 1, 2006 12:56:51 PM

Of all the cards I've used and built with over the last few years surprisingly EVGA has been the most reliable in perfromance, quality and support. I wouldn't buy a Leadtek again if you gave me 20 conroe's to do it, unless all you want is 6 months of use out of a card. Seems as though XFX has had some issues lately more than the others and I'd stay away if it were me. I have to agree with several others 7900GT KO from EVGA is your best option, I put one in the boy's comp about 3 months ago and it's been smooth sailing since, and it's running a 26" lcd with HL2 in widescreen format. I don't know how EVGA did it but having dealt with their techs it seems as though they actually found people who care and want to help but you need to call during business hours.
August 1, 2006 11:45:22 PM

My Gainward 7900GT Golden Sample (550/1400 stock) arrived today and I'm very happy with it. I've not been able to get it to keel over at all yet, tried looping 3dmark06 etc....

The Voltmod is something I plan on trying tomorrow, seeing as its just shading a resistor.

I'll let you all know :) 
!